Fire shuts down Covanta WTE plant in Virginia indefinitely

Fire shuts down Covanta WTE plant in Virginia indefinitely

Fairfax County says it will continue to provide responsible waste management solutions in the interim.

February 13, 2017
Waste Today Staff
Municipal Solid Waste Waste-to-Energy
Fairfax County, Virginia, has issued a statement regarding the closing of a waste-to-energy facility after a fire damaged much of the plant in early February. The Covanta Fairfax Inc. Waste-To-Energy Facility, located at the Fairfax County, Virginia’s I-95 Solid Waste Management Complex in Lorton, Virginia, has been closed due to damage from an extensive fire at the facility. The county says damage assessment and plans to restore the facility to operation are ongoing.

“Until more information about the condition of the facility is made available, it should be considered closed indefinitely, as a practical matter,” the county states on its website, “This announcement will be updated as the condition of the facility and a recovery plan and schedule are developed.”

The county notes municipal solid waste (MSW) processed at the facility is generated by residential homes and commercial establishments - no hazardous wastes are accepted at this facility, as this is prohibited by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ). The VADEQ is aware of the fire and resulting situation, the county adds.

The county says residents and businesses should not experience interruptions in refuse collection service, as waste will be sent in the interim to other solid waste disposal facilities for proper disposal. Recycling collection in the county will also be unaffected, as recyclables will continue to go to regional recycling facilities for processing, the county adds. As well, residents who typically use the I-95 complex are encouraged to continue bringing their waste and recyclables to the drop-off center at the site.

In the interim, the Fairfax County Solid Waste Management Program (SWMP) will continue to provide responsible and effective solid waste management services by implementing elements of an emergency operations plan that was in place for such situations. This plan, previously demonstrated as effective, will provide waste management services until the Covanta facility returns to service and can provide waste disposal in full compliance with the applicable safety and environmental regulations, the county says.